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A Resident's Point of View: Be Prepared!

April 5, 2018

Contributed by Fellowship Village resident, Ralph Ortega

As we go through life, our human needs-shelter, food, socialization-do not change much under ordinary
circumstances.  Mostly, we are able to succeed at dealing with them through our working lives.  After retirement this symmetry generally begins to diminish. At this point in life the Scout motto "Be Prepared" becomes doubly useful.

What to do?  Here is my suggestion:  Examine your situation, your prospects, and make your plans sooner rather than later. Remember the refrain, "The early bird gets the worm" and let me ask you, what is the best way to be early?  Why, by always being prepared.

I urge you to plan early, plan now. This has two advantages.  Plan early while more possibilities and probabilities are both perceived and available, resulting in a better plan. Plus, you'll enjoy the results of your plan for a longer time.

Furthermore, I will add that a Life Plan community (CCRC) is my choice because it meets all the human needs I mentioned earlier:

Shelter:  All home maintenance and utilities are taken care of and included in one monthly fee.

Food:  A flexible meal plan with a variety of delicious choices is included and relieves me of cooking chores.

Health:  All but hospital care is available on-site.

Socialization: You may socialize as little or as often as you wish.  There are ample opportunities within and outside the community.

Residents Find Comprehensive Care at the Fellowship Village Medical Center

March 23, 2018

Residents of Fellowship Village needn’t look far when seeking high quality medical care. A quick phone call to the on-site Medical Center at Fellowship Village opens the door to a wide range of specialized services.

The center, conveniently located within the Fellowship Village campus, serves all independent, assisted living, and skilled nursing residents of the community.

Convenience and familiarity appeal to resident Joanne Spohler, whose Fellowship Village apartment is just minutes from the Medical Center. “I like the friendly staff.  They know all about me ” she notes.  “It’s a very efficient office and everyone is so pleasant and easy to work with.”

Residents are served by a team of registered nurses and nurse practitioners, as well as physicians and other professionals who specialize in primary care, cardiology, dentistry, wound care, physiatry, dermatology, pain management, podiatry, nutrition, psychology and psychiatry.

The Medical Center also offers easy access to a number of diagnostic tests, pharmacy and laboratory services.  EKG, Doppler, echocardiogram, ultrasound, and pacemaker tests can be performed on site.  And there’s no need to go off campus for x-rays, blood tests, ear flushes, flu shots or orthotic fittings.  

Monthly informational programs presented by physicians and nurses keep residents abreast of health issues that concern older adults.  Annual Medicare Wellness consultations are available and the center partners with the Bernards Township Health Department to host skin cancer screenings.

Rapid response to emergencies is a benefit that Fellowship Village resident Shiela Conavatchel appreciates.  When she recently fell ill with flu, a simple phone call brought a wheelchair to her door within minutes.  Attentive care and daily meal deliveries helped Mrs. Conavatchel feel safe as she recovered in her apartment.  “What if I hadn’t moved to Fellowship Village and was home all alone? What would I do?" she reflected.  "They’re here for me and it’s great.”

Campus security and 24/7 coverage by registered nurses in the skilled nursing center at Fellowship Village assures around the clock emergency response after the Medical Center closes. When a nightime emergency occurs at Fellowship Village, a nurse quickly assesses the situation and proceeds accordingly.  Perhaps a hospital visit is necessary, but often the resident can remain at Fellowship Village with follow-up care by the Medical Center team.




Make a Difference - Be a Hospice Volunteer

February 23, 2018

If you're seeking an enriching volunteer experience, consider joining the Fellowship Garden State Hospice team as a volunteer. 

Volunteers play a critical role in hospice care by supporting terminally ill patients, their families and our interdisciplinary team of care providers.  Fellowship Garden State Hospice has many volunteer opportunities available:

Spend time with a terminally ill patient, as a friendly visitor, to read, play a game, listen to music, or just chat.  

If you have barbering or hairdressing skills, share them!  We all feel better after a little professional grooming; this is especially true for those who aren't well.

It's widely acknowleded that music is comforting to patients.  Bring your instrument or sing to lift the spirits of a hospice patient.

Hospice bereavement care continues for up to 13 months following the patient's death.  Volunteers can phone or visit grieving family members.

If you prefer not to be directly involved with patients, we welcome volunteer assistance in the in the hospice office, located at
Fellowship Village in Basking Ridge.

How do you become a Fellowship Garden State Hospice volunteer?

Volunteers who work directly with patients and their families should be good listeners, compassionate, empathetic and comfortable in the presence of the terminally ill.   Special talents or skills, as decribed above are a welcome bonus, but not necessary.

Fellowship Garden State Hospice will be offering a free training program at Fellowship Village to educate participants about hospice care and the role of volunteers. It will include all the information you need to feel knowledgable and comfortable.  (For more information about Fellowship Garden State Hospice, see our February 22, 2018 Blog below.)

Applicants will need to provide a current physical examination, show a negative PPD or chest w-ray result and undergo a background check.

For more information, contact:

Nicole Atorino, 908-966-0886, natorino@fellowshipsl.org

Carolyn Vadimski, 908-432-7277, cvadimski@fellowshipsl.org

Introducing Fellowship Garden State Hospice

February 22, 2018

Fellowship Garden State Hospice is the newest program to join Fellowship Senior Living's array of home community based services.  Dedicated to offering compassion and support to terminally ill patients and their familiies, the Fellowship Garden State Hospice team serves residents of Essex, Hunterdon, Morris Somerset, Union and Warren counties.

Hospice is based on the belief that each person has the right to die pain-free and with dignity. It helps patients live as fully and confortably as possible, with an emphasis on symptom relief and pain management. The hospice team works with those who are suffering the effects of terminal illnesses that include cancer, advanced cardiac disorders, neurological disorders and any end-stage disease.

Some Common Hospice Myths and Misconceptions

Hospice is a place: Hospice is a philosophy of care, delivered wherever the patient calls home-in a private residence, assisted living, nursing home, free-standing hospice care center, or a residential community.

Hospice care means that death is imminent and is given in the last few days or weeks of life: Receiving hospice care is not about giving up. On the contrary, maximum benefit occurs when hospice is started early and the hospice team can forge meaningful relationships. Introducing hospice care months, rather than weeks in advance, gives the patient and family time to address other issues. 

Hospice hastens death: Hospice provides pain relief, emotional and spiritual support for patients; thus easing the transition from life to death. Hospice seeks to allow dying to take place naturally. Some individuals actually show improvement as their pain is managed and quality of life is enhanced.

Hospice care is expensive:  Hospice is not a financial burden. Services are covered by Medicare A, Medicaid, and many private insurers. Benefit periods are renewable.

About Fellowship Garden State Hospice

Hospice care requires an interdisciplinary approach to adddress the medical, spiritual and social needs of patients and families. 

The Fellowship Garden State Hospice team consists of:

A Medical Director whose responsibilities include certifying patient eligibility, providing medical supervision to the care team, and consulting with the patient's atending physician.

The Nursing Supervisor and team of RNs coordinate care, visit patients and perform medical treatments, pain management and symptom control.

A Social Worker assesses the patient's and family's emotional and social needs and provides guidance and counseling.

The Chaplain offers spiritual counseling to the patient and family based on their personal beliefs.  The Chaplain also provides grief counseling to the family up to 13 months following the patient's death and supports the entire hospice team.

Certified Home Health Aides supplement the care provided by the family and the hospice team.  CHHAs work under the supervision of an RN.

Volunteers assist the families and the hospice team, and are supervised by a Volunteer Coordinator.

Call 908-580-9519 to learn more about Fellowship Garden State Hospice.

When Keeping Your Loved One At Home Means Bringing In Help

January 29, 2018

Whether you’ve been providing care for a month, a year, or a decade,  you’ve clearly dedicated yourself to ensuring that your loved one has the best care and quality of life possible for as long as possible. However, there may come a time when outside help is needed. This may be necessary on a temporary basis or it may be crucial to keeping your loved one safe at home for an indefinate period of time.  Understanding professional home care services will help you make the best decisions and feel in control.

What Is Home Care?

The term "home care" represents a wide range of community-based services, from supporting someone who is recuperating from an acute situation, such as a hip fracture; to providing in-home services for an individual with an ongoing chronic condition such as Alzheimer’s disease or impaired mobility.

Professional caregivers can help with personal care, meal preparation and light housekeeping, attentive companionship, transportation to appointments and more. This support makes it possible for your loved one to remain safely at home in a familiar environment.  It promotes independence and offers sorely needed respite for the family caregivers.

Getting Started With Home Care

If you are considering professional home care to assist you with your caregiving responsibilities, there are a number of things to consider:

Ask friends for references for reputable home care agencies. When screening home care agencies, inquire about hourly rate, minimum number of hours per visit and caregiver consistency.  Ask if the agency follows NJ Best Practices for home care agencies.

Make sure you and your loved one are comfortable with someone else taking on some of the tasks that you’ve been doing yourself.  It's important for all involved to understand and agree that there is the need for home care services.

Define the tasks that are required of the caregiver. This helps determine exactly what type of home care is most appropriate.

Home care agency or independent caregiver?

If you consider hiring an independent caregiver, think first of your responsibilities as the caregiver's employer. Who is responsible for employment taxes or liability in the event of a mishap?  It's a good idea to have a job description and employment agreement. Confirm that the caregiver can legally work in the US and has no history of criminal activity. 

A home care agency handles all the employment concerns including payroll, taxes, benefits, scheduling, training, and supervision.  There is rarely a break in service because the agency provides a replacement when your regular caregiver is unavailable or if you request a change.

Fellowship Helping Hands for Care at Home
   
Fellowship Helping Hands conducts the necessary pre-employment screening required for our team of New Jersey state Certified Home Health Aides, including a criminal background check, and health and drug screening. Our caregivers undergo a comprehensive orientation and ongoing training that is specific to their roles as home care providers (i.e. fall prevention, nutrition, dehydration, safety, etc.). 

We also offer dementia and Alzheimer's sensitivity training which is extremely beneficial to clients with memory care needs. All caregivers are supervised by a Registered Nurse who performs an initial assessment and develops a Plan of Care for the client.  Clients and family members can reach out to our Nurse to discuss any caregiver concerns.

Contact Fellowship Helping Hands at 877-637-9566 for more information

 

For more information, call (877) 866-3480 

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